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  • Bob Long

A sunny forecast for aging in place

As the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” During some recent precipitation, the rain was running from the ceiling into Ann's living room. She had to periodically empty a thirty-three gallon can to combat the onslaught of water. It was definitely not a recipe for a good night's sleep!

Today Ann can sleep peacefully through the night, regardless of the weather. NeighborLink Indianapolis recently completed installation of a new roof on her home. This was made possible through a grant specifically targeting home stabilization for long-term homeowners.


The sixty-nine year old and her late husband James moved into their home in 2012. Although she uses a walker, Ann is still able to clean and do chores. However, her husband passed away last March, and there have been issues with the house beyond Ann's abilities. "Everything he would do I would be trying to do,” she says, tearing up.


Ann appreciates the quickness with which NLI helped her water worries evaporate. “They came out within a week and had me choose a color for the shingles. They did the job in one day, and came back for about a half hour the second day to finish up. They were fast and efficient,” she says.



Ann was impressed with crew doing the project. She was amazed at the little “extras” they took care of. “They even pulled some weeds and fixed a downspout,” she exclaims.


Water seems to be a recurring theme for Ann. NLI has also pumped out her basement, fixed her sump pump, and fixed a leak in her shower as well.


Ann is retired now but was employed for years at the Borders Warehouse. She also worked in special education for the IPS School System and at the Roche Diagnostics warehouse.



She lives on a quiet street “where you couldn't ask for better neighborhood.” Although Ann doesn't own a car, she still is able to drive. She shares driving duties with her sister on periodic road trips. Jungle Jim's International Grocery Store in Fairfax, Ohio is one of their favorite destinations.


Ann enjoys war movies, “because my grandfathers were in the service. No chick flicks though,” she laughs. She says that she gave up playing poker because “people would get mad when I always won.”


A huge spice rack in Ann's kitchen attests to her passion for cooking. She enjoys taking standard recipes and tweaking them into something new and unique.


Perhaps her greatest joy, however are her unique collections. Angels, wolves, dogs, and birds are perched on tables in the living room and on her window sill. “I've been a collector since I was nine years old,” she says.



Although she dearly misses her husband of 28 years, Ann has family that help as she navigates maintaining her home and planning for the future. She points to plants at the end of her lot and notes that they'll be soon be transplanted closer to the front porch. This will make it easier for Ann to care for them.


As we age, it becomes more difficult for us to take care of our own homes. Even though the will is there, our ability is diminished due to infirmities, illness, or lack of funds. NeighborLink Indianapolis coordinates projects, both large and small, to enable our homeowners to live in dignity and security in their own homes. If you would like to help, please visit our website for opportunities. If you have the desire but don't have the time, you can donate to NeighborLink Indy by clicking here.


Each day, in homes throughout Indianapolis, an older person is waking up and facing new obstacles to living independently. NLI, through its generous funders and energetic volunteers, is helping our neighbors meet these challenges.


Ann's story is proof of how this can make a difference.


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